being a mom
I Am Not The Mom I Imagined I Would Be
With two kids and almost four years of parenting under my belt, I can finally admit that Iâ€™m not the mom I imagined Iâ€™d be.
I had a million ideas of what my mom-self would look like. Having struggled with infertility before my first child, I had years to think about it. I fantasized about the mother I would become â€“ so much so that she kind of took on a life of her own. She was amazing, this future me. I crafted her perfectly in my mind, convinced I knew what she would look like.
I was wrong. In fact, sometimes I actually feel a little envy toward this woman; this perfect mother I’m not.
Itâ€™s so easy to judge the parenting of others before you have kids. You simply canâ€™t concept how difficult the most basic things can be; getting your kids to eat something, getting their pajamas on at the end of a long day, getting them to listen â€“ these were all things I was certain I would have no problem with. Iâ€™ve always had a sort of commanding presence; people donâ€™t generally give me a hard time. Iâ€™ve often fallen into positions of leadership at the variety of jobs Iâ€™ve had quite easily.Â Parenting would be a breeze, right?
The problem with fantasizing about the type of mother youâ€™ll be before you actually become one, is that you inevitably forget to fantasize about a key element of the equation â€“ your future child. Before I had one, I just imagined that children were vessels that we filled up with all the things we wanted them to be. If I was patient, they would respond in kind. IfÂ I had a sense of authority about me, they would bow to it. If only it were that easy. I forgot to consider the fact that children have their own personalities and ideas about how they will approach the world. An infant isnâ€™t an empty vessel â€“ sheâ€™s a person with ideas, perceptions and preferences. This can be a startling revelation to a new mother whose child isnâ€™t responding to her â€œperfect parentingâ€ the way sheâ€™d hoped.Â There is an Internet meme that describes this perfectly:
Youâ€™re making it hard for me to be the parent I always dreamed I would be.